The Happiness Project | A Book Review

by - 6/06/2018

Since I plow through books so quickly (I've already read 58 this year!) I decided I'm going to start documenting them more on my li'l blog, since it's an ongoing passion for me. Plus I'm always interested to hear what people think about books, so maybe I can do the same! 

One of the first books I read this year was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Cover image from Goodreads

A little about the book from the blurb on Goodreads:

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

I don't remember how I heard about this (likely from Janssen at Everyday Reading because she has excellent taste in books), but I read this book and quickly became a Gretchen Rubin groupie. Not only does she have some fantastic ideas in this book, but she shares them in such an energetic way that it really makes you want to try them! I found her attitude contagious and fun.

Since reading this book, I have checked out a few of her others (a favorite being The Four Tendencies! I'll probably have to do a separate post about that one) and I've also started listening to her podcast. While a lot of her research isn't groundbreaking, I have found that implementing a few of her ideas has really helped me. Being happier in everyday life is something I think we all strive for, and she's figured out some really great things. One of the first ideas I tried from her book was organizing my house. It was kind of crazy how good it felt to get rid of a lot of unnecessary junk, and to know that everything in my house had a place.

Something she preaches about often is making habits and sticking to them. She argues that making habits frees up your mind from making decisions, because when it's a habit, you don't have to decide! I've been trying this in my life the past month or so and I have found huge satisfaction and happiness in it. There are certain things I want to do each day (like pray, read scriptures, meditate, write, etc.) and as I've been just doing those things every day, I'm much happier, and feel way better. It's also helped me discover that I crave a little more structure in my life than I used to think. I don't remember if structure is something she lays out specifically in her book, but I definitely felt inspired to add it to my life after reading it. And I've found that I feel much better at the end of the day when I've done some productive things, even if that just means I played the piano, or ran around outside with Jack, instead of just sitting around all day. Who knew? :)

Here's to being a little happier, and enjoying our every day lives!

Happy Wednesday.

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